The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period starts on Jan. 1 and will run through March 31. During this window, beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage can evaluate their coverage and switch to a different plan if they choose to do so.
Beneficiaries can also add on a Part D prescription drug plan or switch to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurers and can evolve each year with new policies and price changes. The open enrollment period gives beneficiaries a chance to review and adjust their current coverage, identify plans that are available in their area and add additional benefits.
While there are new options available every year, many beneficiaries don’t take advantage of the opportunity to compare and contrast existing plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), as many as seven in 10 beneficiaries have not compared plans during past open enrollment periods.
Even if a beneficiary is happy with their current coverage, Medicare experts advise comparing plans since the options available to them may have changed since they first enrolled.
Medicare Advantage continues to grow each year, with more than 26 million beneficiaries in 2021. The KFF also notes that the average beneficiary in 2022 will have access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, more than double the average plans available just five years ago.
The RetireGuide Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment PDF
RetireGuide has prepared a free guide to help beneficiaries navigate the open enrollment period and find the best plan to suit their needs and budget.
The guide includes tips on how to prepare for open enrollment, information on current plans and the companies that sell them.
Also included in the PDF are the key cost changes to Medicare this year, with the Part B premium seeing a significant rise. However, the average Medicare Advantage premium has dropped from its 2021 average figure of $21.22 per month to $19.
What to Consider When Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan
According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), there are many factors for you to consider when looking for the best Medicare Advantage plan for you.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Plan
- Cost: Medicare Advantage plans come with varying costs for different treatments and services – be sure to compare your options.
- Coverage: Identify which health care needs are the most important and compare how those are covered in different plans.
- Non-Medicare Coverage: If a beneficiary already has other non-Medicare types of coverage, they should look into how it will work with their Medicare Advantage plan.
- Part D: Beneficiaries should assess if they want a plan that includes Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage plans provide beneficiaries with many benefits that are not included in Original Medicare, making them an ideal option for many seniors. These plans often include vision, dental and other benefits.